First Business model; Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

First Business model; Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba one of the first business models

between a man and a woman.

The business model between a man and a woman is not uncommon nowadays. I am fascinated by world cultures and I am very attracted to the history of Arabian countries. They are often of the opinion that women in these countries are not respected. However, the opposite is true. A woman has an irreplaceable place in negotiations, especially in business. She brings a slightly different perspective to business, inspires confidence in business partners, and in many others fights for its kingdom as the lion. I was fascinated by one of the first business models set by King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

King Solomon is famous as one of the strongest, richest and at the same time one of the wisest rulers in history. It has been said that, in addition to his great conquest abilities, God gave him a gift of dominion over  genies, the weather, and also the ability to understand the words of animals. King Solomon influenced with an incredible sharpness and clear mind.

He was chosen and loved by God, which also had an impact on the great expansion of Babylon.

Sheba ruled in the kingdom of what is now present-day Yemen. The City of Marreb was a great commercial center, a stopping point for merchant caravans that crisscrossed the desert. It’s a culture that has an immensely rich oral tradition and you can be amazed by the stories you’ll heard. Sheba had heard of Solomon being a very knowledgeable king so therefore in her attempt to build a very strong nation she felt that she needed to go there and learn from his wisdom and knowledge. Solomon had heard of Sheba from a hoopoe bird, a prized animal that had become lost in a far off land. He told Solomon about a distant oasis ruled by a rich and a beautiful pagan queen.

Solomon wondered why someone that was so beautiful and so rich didn’t know who the real God is and further had never come to him to pay tribute. So he sent a letter with the hoopoe whose neck delivered it to Sheba. Sheba then took the message to her council of courtiers and asked what she should do about this. 

Sheba thought it was clear that the message was an ultimatum.  Sheba had to pay tribute to Solomon or risk his wrath, which meant war.  Sheba’s servants packed many gifts for Solomon including gold precious stones, oil and spices but perhaps the real reason for her visit was not to bestow gifts but to negotiate trade.

  1. Arouse interest- On both sides. 
  2. Favorable trade . for both parties
  3. Common interests. 
  4. Negotiations
  5. Business partner testing.
  6. Negotiation
  7. The result of mutual agreement 

Marreb, the city in which she lived, was endowed with large amounts of water, food and had irrigation systems built, which had a huge impact on the flourishing of business and trade. One of the very valuable gifts the Queen brought to Solomon was incense, which was said to promote communication between God and man. At the time, it was more precious than gold. The 6-month journey from Saba to Jerusalem was very unusual for those days, Especially for the Queen. Solomon was fascinated by the beauty of the Queen and it is said that their communication was a form of business agreement. Allegedly, the Queen was endowed with a keen mind and prepared some very insidious questions for the King to make sure of his knowledge. The questions were asked in the form of riddles like our modern version of small talk, it was more like when business deals are done today. Mesopotamian culture has a long tradition of riddles between monarchs. Not only do diplomats exchange riddles, but Solomon did the same with Hiram the King of Tire.  So Solomon liked this sort of thing, also riddles were often exchanged at weddings. The act of exchanging riddles shows that you are fit partners.



During her stay of 3 years by some accounts, Solomon and Sheba discussed many subjects including Solomon’s God. Solomon had a reputation of being a big womanizer so as a result perhaps it was a part of his longer strategy. The fullest account of the time Solomon and Sheba’s time together was given in the Ethiopian Kebra Nagast; it describes how the two became inseparable until eventually Sheba decided she had to return to her own people. 


The night before the queen’s departure, Solomon gave her a very spicy dinner, and they stayed late into the night. She allegedly stayed in his palace, but forced Solomon to swear that he wouldn’t touch her. He swore on the assumption that she would not take anything from the palace at night. Sheba woke up in the middle of the night with a big thirst, and Solomon stood by her with a glass of water. When the Queen of Sheba returned home she carried with her the light of wisdom, Sheba brought her faith in one God to her country, and 9 months after returning from Jerusalem, she gave birth to her only son, Menelec.


The Etiopian holy book goes on to document how Menelec came of age and journeyed to Jerusalem to visit his father.  It is said that Solomon gave him the Ark of the Covenant which Menelec brought with him to Ethiopia where he founded a new dynasty.

The Queen is a perfect display of strength, wisdom, education, progress and a certain sense of business. She must have had a very strong motive to make such a difficult journey to meet with Solomon. It is probable that strong women like the Queen where not uncommon at that time. A remarkable woman whose courageous efforts ensured trade, peace and at the same time brought faith in God to a pagan country.

During this agreement, the deal was sealed probably also through his son. Isn’t it our greatest blessing to have a child with strong health and a clear minded partner? How else can we ensure a healthy and well-meaning future generation?

Le Globless 

Kinza Vierik